By Kristen O’Loughlin

Stockdale & Leggo
EVR Property Group
EVR Business Brokers
Koo Wee Rup and Hastings

STRUGGLING with increasing costs of the rental market? Finding it difficult to find a decent rental property within your budget? Worried about the insecurity of only being offered a short-term lease?

Boy, does PM Scott Morrison have the answer for you!

“This is about Australians getting into homes. The best way to support people renting a house is to help them buy a house.”

Now, I usually like to take a neutral position when writing about the way politics affects the market, but this statement is easily one of the dumbest and most tone deaf ever said by a leader of our country.

The cost of living continues to increase at a rate that makes the ratio to wage gap grow by the day. Add to this the effects of food prices skyrocketing thanks to Australia’s constant barrage of natural disasters, rising inflation and the war in Ukraine, pushing petrol prices to a point where people literally cannot afford to fill their car up to drive to work. The extreme daily struggle of life is quickly becoming the “new norm” for everyone.

APRA has tightened lending, meaning even if you are one of the lucky ones managing to save some sort of a deposit, it’s still never enough to get your foot in the door.

It is no secret there is a serious affordable housing shortage in this country, and thanks to the pandemic and aforementioned conditions, we are also seeing the homeless rate across Australia surge at an alarming rate.

And what is the solution given from our illustrious leader? Just go buy a house.

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise from a man who can’t even tell you the cost of a loaf of bread. But the out of touch attitude of our PM to the very people who hold his future in their hands at present astounds me.

With interest rate increases on the horizon, renters who are already doing it tough are about to find not living – but merely surviving – their biggest hurdle. While national residency property rental vacancy rates are at their lowest since 2006, with regional markets struggling much more than metro areas, renters will have no choice but to dig deeper into their pockets to hold onto their rental property if they’re already lucky enough to have one.

To add to this hideous pressure cooker of a market, international borders are now opening and COVID restrictions easing, meaning local residents will also be competing against international students and workers coming back to the country, further fuelling demand in a market that currently only favours investors.

Unfortunately, the ongoing rental crisis is not going to be solved overnight, or by federal, state, and local governments all working on segmented solutions instead of working together.

And I’m no expert, but one thing I can say with 100 per cent certainty is the answer to Australia’s biggest issue is not going to be solved by a $20,000 government grant to go and buy a house.